Zip code stats clarified March 4, 2014
By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Home sales in Four Points were strong in 2013 with the dominant trends being low inventories, higher prices and more sales.
“We are in the most unique real estate market in my 31 years as an agent or broker,” said Tim Moncrief, co-owner of Bartlett Real Estate Group Keller Williams Realty.
Inventory levels are at 10 year lows, while sales at 10 year highs. Four Points homes sales last year hit an all-time record high, he said.
In 2013, home list prices rose dramatically through July, then took a step back during the latter half of 2013. Many asking prices became over-inflated and have since been adjusted, Moncrief said.
“Though demand may be high and supply may be low, market prices will only rise to what buyers are willing and able to pay in that market,” Moncrief said.
Craig Smyser, Broker Associate with RE/MAX Capital City, saw the inventory and pricing trend play out in Steiner Ranch.
“The first part of 2013 had very low inventory, but by summer the inventory level had recovered sufficiently,” Smyser said.
The median price of a resale home in Steiner Ranch increased 5.6 percent to $410,000 in 2013. That increase was lower, however, than the 9 percent median price increase that occurred across the greater Austin area.
Average price per square foot has risen all across the area over the last several years.
Zip code 78730 including River Place had 172 home sales last year averaging $201 per square foot, said Rhonda Durrill Realtor with Avalar Realty. Average price is not the median price, which takes out the highs and the lows and varies greatly with properties on Lake Austin.
Zip code 78726 including Grandview had 157 home sales in 2013 averaging $126 per square foot, Durrill said.
In Steiner, 353 homes sold in 2013 and averaged $138 per square foot, Smyser said.
“More homes sold in 2013 compared to 2012. Home prices have increased as well with average sold prices jumping over $50,000,” Durrill said.
Overall all of River North, which encompasses Four Points and a few more neighborhoods, finished very strong last year, she said.
“Traffic congestion issues between Steiner and 2222 have caused many to sell in Steiner and move to River Place and Westminster Glen,” Durrill said. Feeding into Vandegrift HS, proximity to downtown and the beauty of the community also fuel the trend for some to move.
“There are fewer homes in (River Place and Westminster Glen) to choose from so the prices keep going up,” Durrill said. She noted there were price increases between 2012 and 2013.
But Bartlett’s Moncrief says what may be a negative to one buyer is a positive to another.
He has heard the rumors floating over current traffic concerns but despite that he claims each neighborhood has its strength.
“As has always been the case in my 19 years in Four Points, each neighborhood has its advantages and disadvantages for any particular buyer’s desires, wants and needs. When approached with any negative rumor about any neighborhood, I respond with actual statistics of that neighborhood,” he said.
Looking at 2014
“So far this year, our inventory is running below last year’s level. I expect as the spring market unfolds, we will again see the inventory return to a healthy level,” Smyser said.
Durrill believes home sales will be even healthier in 2014.
Available resale homes for sale continue to be low with less than two months of inventory for River North. Several builders are working hard to get inventory on the ground, she said.
“It has been a very busy winter for many agents this year, certainly busier for me than in prior years. All indicators point to a busy spring and summer as well,” she said.
Moncrief adds that closings are up 50 percent from January 2013.
“Bottom line: January was substantially better than predicted or anticipated. Conclusion: with such abnormally low inventories rarely, if ever seen before, 2014 is highly likely to be a very strong year,” Moncrief said.